Barons Sweep Rampage, Advance To Western Semis
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Jujhar Khaira scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Oklahoma Barons completed a three-game sweep of the San Antonio Rampage in the Western Conference Quarterfinals round of the AHL's Calder Cup Playoffs Wednesday night at AT&T Center.
With the score tied 1-1 at 5:01 of overtime, Khaira grabbed the rebound of a Matt Ford shot and flipped it behind sprawling San Antonio goalie Dan Ellis to give the Barons a 2-1 victory and a 3-0 win in the best-of-five series. The goal came in what was Khaira's first game back since suffering an injury March 4 in Grand Rapids.
Richard Bachman made his first start in this year's Calder Cup Playoffs, stopping 35 shots and not allowing a goal until the final minute of regulation. After relieving fellow net minder Laurent Brossoit in the Barons' come-from-behind win last Saturday, Bachman went more than 96 combined minutes without surrendering a San Antonio goal.
With the series win, the Barons advance to the Western Conference Semifinals, where they will face a still-to-be-determined opponent in a best-of-seven series.
Following a scoreless first period, Oklahoma City grabbed a 1-0 lead at 18:51 of the second. A turnover in the San Antonio zone by the Rampage's Rocco Grimaldi led to a takeaway by Barons forward Jason Williams, who slid a pass in the low slot to Ford. After Ford lifted a shot on net, Kellen Jones grabbed the rebound and pushed the puck through the pads of Ellis to break the scoreless tie.
San Antonio amassed 14 of its 19 third period shots in the final six minutes of play, and with 58 seconds remaining in the third period, Dylan Olsen tied the game after taking a Vincent Trocheck pass in the left circle and wristing a shot past the blocker of Bachman.
Khaira's goal gave Oklahoma City its fifth victory in five playoff games against San Antonio that have required overtime in club history.
Oklahoma City now awaits the completion of the remaining Western Conference Quarterfinals series in order to determine its next opponent.